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Arsenal boost Champions League push with 4-2 win at Chelsea

LONDON: Arsenal beat Chelsea 4-2 in the Premier League on Wednesday (Apr 20), helped by two goals by Eddie Nketiah, leaving the Gunners running neck-and-neck with north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the race for a Champions League spot.

Arsenal went ahead twice in a pulsating first half at Stamford Bridge, first when Nketiah pounced on a weak back pass by Andreas Christensen in the 13th minute and then when Emile Smith-Rowe finished off a flowing counter-attack in the 27th.

But the visitors were quickly pegged back on both occasions by equalisers from Timo Werner and Cesar Azpilicueta.

Nketiah restored the visitors' lead in the 57th minute when he seized on another mix-up in Chelsea's defence to make it 3-2, stabbing the ball home after Thiago Silva's interception bounced into the Arsenal striker's path off Malang Sarr.

Chelsea pressed for a third equaliser, bringing on Kai Havertz for out-of-form record signing Romelu Lukaku who largely failed to impress once again when given a rare start by coach Thomas Tuchel.

But Arsenal's Bukayo Saka rounded off the win when he converted a penalty in the 92nd minute after he was adjudged to have been fouled by Azpilicueta.

The win left Arsenal just outside the Champions League qualifying positions in fifth place but level with Spurs on 57 points and only behind them on goal difference.

Spurs host Arsenal on May 12.

Chelsea stayed in third place on 62 points having played a game less than both Spurs and Arsenal and still looking on course for their own Champions League spot next season.

The defeat represented the first time since 1993 that Chelsea lost three consecutive home games having been beaten by Brentford in the league and Real Madrid in the Champions League. They conceded a total of 11 goals in those games, a run of form that contrasts with their usually secure defence under Tuchel.

Arsenal had lost their three previous league matches.

"We wanted to give the fans something to believe in us and we did that," Saka told Sky Sports. "We showed fight and character. It's a huge result. It means a lot to us. Losing three games in a row is really difficult."

Wednesday's game was played with some sections of Stamford Bridge unfilled after the government ruled in March that Chelsea could not make new ticket sales to their fans under restrictions linked to the club's Russian owner Roman Abramovich.

Source: Reuters

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